Yasiin Bey (rap name Mos Def) was arrested in Cape Town, South Africa last week for allegedly traveling with a fraudulent passport.
Today, friend and collaborator Kanye West gave him a chance to tell his side of the story, in a telephone message Ye posted on Twitter and his website (Youtube mirror below).
Bey starts off with a freestyle in which he sounds pretty dejected and exasperated, referencing Kanye’s two most recent songs, ‘No More Parties in L.A.’ (“No more parties in S.A.”) and ‘Real Friends’ (“Thank you, Kanye West, for being a real friend).
“I’ve committed no crime/ Why’s the state wasting my time/ They must be out of their minds,” Bey raps, adding, “This is not an expression of fear/ This is just to make things clear/ My intentions are pure in coming here.”
A message from Yasiin Bey https://t.co/Mf6apCqn2D— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 20, 2016
He follows up with a spoken message, claiming he is being “unjustly” detained and refuting the charge that he traveled using a “fictitious document”.
“I’m being prevented from leaving unjustly, unlawfully, and without any logical reason,” he explains. “I have reason to believe or suspect that there are political motivations behind the way that I’m being treated because… I haven’t broken any law and I’m being treated like a criminal.”
Bey, who worked with Kanye on the track ‘Two Words’, also announced his retirement from the industry.
“I’m retiring from the music recording industry as it is currently assembled today, and also from Hollywood, effective immediately,” he states. “I’m releasing my final album this year, and that’s that.”
In 2013, Bey allowed himself to be force-fed following Guantanamo Bay procedure to highlight inmates’ plight, in a video that is very difficult to watch..